A new pre-release Build of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 has made its way out of Redmond and into the wild, as the service pack is advancing toward the first Beta development milestone. Windows 7 SP1 Build 7601.16556 has been leaked and is now available for download through various illegal third-party sources, including BitTorrent trackers. Microsoft has yet to confirm that Windows 7 SP1 reached a specific development milestone, release deadlines for Beta, RC and RTM Builds, or detail the evolution that the upgrade will bring to the table.
In mid-March 2010, the Redmond company did indicate that Windows 7 SP1 would be nothing more than a standard service-pack release, and a minor upgrade in this sense, and confirmed two new features impacting the virtualization stack, Microsoft RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory. As it was the case with Vista and Windows Server 2008 SP2, Service Pack 1 will be designed not only for Windows 7, but also for Windows Server 2008 R2. In this regard, the new RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory features will benefit Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 customers the most.
The latest leaked release of Windows 7 SP1 has been labeled Build 7601.16556.100421-1510; Service Pack 1, v.172. The build string reveals that the leaked bits were compiled on April 21st, 2010, a few weeks ago. According to Wzor, the website that provided details of the leak, Windows 7 SP1 Build 7601.16556.100421-1510 brings to the table the x86 (32-bit), x64 (64-bit) and ia64 flavors of the service pack, localized in English, Spanish, Japanese, German, and French.
Windows 7 SP1 Build 7601.16556.100421-1510 v.172 is reportedly an Escrow release of Beta 1. Microsoft traditionally freezes development on a specific pre-release milestone ahead of giving the green light to the launch, a period referred to as Escrow. During Escrow, the Redmond company focuses on identifying regression issues, and severe bugs that would mean postponing reaching the milestone until they are resolved.
However, the fact that Windows 7 SP1 is in Beta Escrow means that the fully fledged Beta is not that far off in the distance. Of course, Microsoft appears not to be rushing the Windows 7 SP1 development process. After all, on May 22nd, it will be just seven months since the operating system was launched on the market. Windows 7 SP1 is reportedly set for RTM in October – November 2010, with Windows 7 SP1 Build 7601.16556.100421-1510 v.172 time-bombed and scheduled to expire between April and June 2011.